Stop! Don’t Allow Deconstruction to Fill Your Mind with Yellow Teaching

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Shawn Akers

Deconstruction is a hot word right now in many Christian circles. People are claiming they want to fix the current cultural church by deconstructing what it is so they can reconstruct something they want.

However, I’d like to pose the question, “Is yellow teaching to blame for the problems we are seeing today in the church?”

Yellow teaching is what I am calling false teaching. It is just as dangerous and deadly as yellow journalism was in the 1890s. I recently learned of the term “yellow journalism.” I homeschool and was doing some of my son’s history work with him when I came across this term.

I don’t remember learning about it while I was in school, but as I researched about it, I learned yellow journalism is basically journalism that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration. There is little to no legitimate, well-researched news. Instead, it uses eye-catching headlines to increase sales.

The term was coined in the 1890s based on competition between two New York City newspapers, The World and The Journal. These two newspapers were creating sensationalized headlines to attract readers and increase their circulation because they wanted to be appealing. The tactics of those who utilized yellow journalism were scare headlines, lavish use of pictures or imaginary drawings and faked interviews or false learning from so-called experts. Yellow journalism helped push Spain and the United States into the 1898 Spanish-American War, and they didn’t care about anybody but themselves.

As I read about yellow journalism, I sat back and thought, “Oh, my goodness, is this what we’ve done in the church?” Right now, there’s a huge fight about deconstruction in the church. I’ve seen some that are pro-deconstruction, and I’ve seen some that are like, “Hey, let’s put the brakes on, and let’s talk about why this not good.” When we’re talking about deconstruction in the church, we’re talking about breaking down what’s been going on in the church and reconstructing something new. I want to be careful here. This is sacred, holy ground and these are moments when this could be good, or it could be bad for the church.

Yes, maybe yellow teaching is the reason we find so many people in deconstruction right now, but I don’t want yellow teaching to be the reason and the foundation upon which the restored church is built upon.

Martin Luther said, “It is the nature of all hypocrites and false prophets to create a conscience when there is none. And to cause conscience to disappear where it does exist.” We have a lot of false teachers and a lot of false stuff going on in the world. The lack of teaching the Bible from the pulpit has messed up the church and has contributed to this deconstruction phase we find ourselves in.

There is an offshoot of Christians who are building this deconstructed church that is not truth. They are going to make a Bible that doesn’t line up with God’s Word. First Timothy 6:5 (NLT) says, “These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth.”

Some of them have redefined what is good, what is love, are okay with redefining what marriage is, and have redefined what sin is and that it is okay to continue to live in sinful attitudes because Jesus paid it all on the cross. They might say, “It’s okay to do whatever you want to do, and live however you want to live, and give into whatever urge you might have as long as you love.”

This is false teaching. We can’t be Christians who live and look like the culture.

In addition to false teaching, we have deconstruction going on because church has been sensationalized and glamorized. So many churches want to be seeker-friendly. However, church is for the meeting of the people; it’s for the body of Christ to come together to be encouraged and to hear the teaching and the preaching of God’s Word (Heb. 10:24–26).

Somewhere along the way, we turned church services on Sunday into evangelical events. The church body is suffering because of this model. People aren’t going to know the Word of God if they are only given pep talks on Sunday because the church is afraid of offending the seeker in the sanctuary.

Newsflash, the seeker in the sanctuary is seeking the truth because the Holy Spirit has led him or her into the sanctuary that day to hear truth. When a pastor is giving people a seeker-friendly message, they failed the seeker because the seeker didn’t hear the truth the Holy Spirit sent them to hear. You can’t be passionate enough for the Word of God because there is life and death in the power of your words.

You can’t just preach the Word of God; you must teach it and preach it with boldness, competence and courage.

Don’t ever participate in the tactics of yellow teaching solely to increase your numbers. Do not embellish; do not create scare tactics; do not create false headlines; and, certainly please, stop quoting false experts. There is no place for yellow teaching in the church, and there’s certainly no place for a deconstructed church made up of yellow teachers within the church.

It’s dangerous and there’s way too much at risk. We’re going to lose generations, especially the young generation, if we allow the movement of yellow teachers to advance because it’s not from God. False teaching creates death. Just like yellow journalism in the 1890s drove two countries into war and people died, there will be death—spiritual death—that result from the continued acceptance and spread of yellow teaching in the church. {eoa}

Erin Olson is the founder of Sandalfeet Ministries, a digital platform to encourage, equip and evangelize through blogs, articles, books, biblical resources and her podcast, The Depot Podcast with Erin Olson. She is a wife and a mom to three children and currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find out more about Erin by visiting her website

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